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Cadet Indicator at Parkstone Yacht Club

by Tony Jaffa 2 May 2006 07:30 BST 29-30 April 2006

Hamish Stone and Aaron Woolf from Waldringfield were the convincing winners of the Cadet Indicator event hosted by Parkstone Yacht Club on 29th and 30th April.

The 90 entries faced incredibly difficult conditions in the light and fickle breezes. However, Hamish and Aaron were consistently at the head of fleet, and showed excellent boat speed and consistency in a variety of conditions.

Runners-up were Josh Pistol and Jamie Diamond from Fishers Green, and third overall were Seb Balch and Emma Knott, also from Waldringfield.

In the Regatta fleet, the 9 entries enjoyed the closest of racing, with Oliver Palierakis and Matthew Aldus-Horne from Fishers Green finishing just 1 point ahead of Emily Kinver and Carragh Martineau from Exe.

Gold and Silver Fleets:

Saturday, 29th April:

Race 1:

The first race was postponed for just over an hour to allow the South Westerly sea breeze to become established. After a general recall, the race started at the second attempt in about 4-5 knots of breeze, under a black flag (which resulted in 12 boats being disqualified).

The bulk of the fleet started at the pin end to take advantage of the port bias on the starting line. Initially, the right hand side of the beat appeared to be paying, but it soon became clears that playing the shifts up the middle was the way to go.

Seb Balch and Emma Knott in Genesis worked the conditions well to round the first mark 26 seconds ahead of Hamish Stone and Aaron Woolf in Gnat, who were closely followed by Ed Impey and Jack Wilson in Touchwood, Amy Seabright and Katie Barr in Lady in Red, and William and Sophie Shepherd in The Red Cadet.

Seb/Emma and Hamish/Aaron pulled away from the chasing pack on the first reach, and by the gybe mark, Gnat was right on the transom of Genesis. A slick gybe by Hamish and Aaron saw them take the lead, which they held to the finish of the shortened course, a minute ahead of Seb and Emma. Ed and Jack held off the chasing group to cross the line in 3rd place.

Races 2 and 3 were postponed until Sunday, as the fickle wind came and went in fits and starts, with 180º windshifts accompanying each new breeze. After waiting an hour and a half, the race officer wisely sent everyone ashore as the ebbing tide gathered strength.

Sunday, 30th April:

Race 2:

A light and shifty Northerly breeze greeted the fleet on Sunday morning. After a general recall, the fleet got away at the second attempt with the bulk of the fleet favouring the pin end and the left hand side of the beat.

As the breeze faded and moved left, those on the right of the course suffered badly. Meanwhile, Tye Wichard and Ben Thame in Viper took advantage of the shift to emerge as the leader, followed by Hamish and Aaron in Gnat. Viper and Gnat rounded the windward mark close together, just as the breeze moved left again, turning the second leg into another beat. For many, the final approach to the first mark turned into a spinnaker reach!

Seb Balch and Emma Knott in Genesis were third around the first mark, closely followed by Sophie Pearson and Amy Yeoman in Who dares Wins,.

At the wing mark, Tye and Ben were still just ahead of Hamish and Jonny, but another textbook mark rounding saw Gnat take the lead. As the leaders rounded the leeward mark, the breeze began to fade and oscillate, and it was a slow and difficult beat to the finishing line. Hamish and Aaron held on to the lead to take their second win of the regatta. Meanwhile, there had been a good deal of place changing, with Josh Pistol and Jamie Diamond in Pintail taking 2nd place, and Sophie and Amy in 3rd.

Because of the conditions, the bulk of the fleet failed to make the finishing line within 30 minutes of Gnat, which meant that only 23 boats officially completed the race.

Race 3:

After a further postponement, the breeze filled in from the West, as forecast. After a quick re-configuration of the course, the 3rd race started cleanly, in 8-10 knots. Katrina and Christopher Brewer in Executrix started at the Committee boat and tacked right on to port, whilst most of the fleet preferred to head left.

When Katrina and Christopher tacked back to the middle of the beat soon afterwards, they had already established a commanding lead, and rounded the windward mark 55 seconds ahead of Ed and Jack in Touchwood, and Chris Griffiths and Zoë McBride in Utopia.

The Brewers held the lead for the whole race, and finished 1 minute 20 seconds ahead of Ed and Jack in Touchwood.

A good battle for 3rd place was taking place behind Executrix and Touchwood, but after rounding the windward mark outside the top ten, Hamish and Aaron in Gnat stormed through and by the end of the first run, they had worked their way up to 3rd, which they held until the finish.

Race 4:

With the race officer anxious to take full advantage of the best sailing conditions of the weekend, the starting sequence for race 4 began under a black flag with the minimum of delay in a South/South Westerly breeze of about 10 knots. A general recall saw 10 boats disqualified.

The fleet started cleanly on the restart, and after a fantastic pin end, port tack, flier, George Ayre and William Kennedy in Pure Genius took an immediate lead. It was clear that the left hand side of the beat was paying, and at the first mark, George and William rounded 10 boatlengths ahead of Hamish and Aaron in Gnat, who were followed 30 seconds later by Miles Blaver-Mann and Ole Alcock in Pulling Power.

Gnat overtook Pure Genius on the first reach, a lead which they held until the finish. Miles and Ole rounded the leeward mark in 2nd place just ahead of George and William, whilst a close race was being fought for the following places.

By the final beat, Miles and Ole were still 2nd , which they held to the finish, but the battle between the following group was not settled until the final beat, when Chris Proffit and Hannah Muskett pulled through to take the 3rd place.

Races 5 and 6 were abandoned because of lack of time.

So a convincing, emphatic, and well deserved overall win for Hamish Stone and Aaron Woolf, and following on from their success at the Inland Championships at Rutland, they are clearly the team to beat this year.

Overall Results:

1st Gnat, 8521, Hamish Stone/Aaron Woolf
2nd Pintail, 735, Josh Pistol/Jamie Diamond
3rd Genesis, 8539, Seb Balch/Emma Knott
4th Touch Wood, 9047, Ed Impey/Jack Wilson
5th Pulling Power, 7630, Miles Blaver-Mann/Ole Alcock
6th Lady in Red, 8520, Amy Seabright/Katie Barr

Regatta Fleet:

Oliver Palierakis and Matthew Aldus-Horne in 2 Wicked from Fishers Green, and Emily Kinver and Carragh Martineau in Inspiration from Exe, were neck and neck as the Regatta fleet held all six of their scheduled races.

Inspiration lead 2 Wicked by only two points at the start of the final race, but with the discard about to come into play, the result of race 6 would determine the final result.

In a steady South/South Westerly breeze, Oliver and Matthew made no mistake and came in at the head of the fleet. Emily and Carragh, however, managed only a disappointing 8th position, which they discarded, but as Oliver and Matthew had a better discard, they took the regatta by a single point.

Tom Brophy and Chris Smith in Fired Up had an equally nail-biting tussle with Alex Hitchcock and Robert Booth in Point Blank, with Tom and Chris taking 3rd place overall, again by a single point!

And finally, thanks must go to Race Officers Peter Drake and David Kennedy and their teams for the excellent jobs they did in enabling the Gold/Silver and Regatta fleets to complete their series. Poole Harbour produced the most testing conditions imaginable for a Race Officer, and many spectators were heard to say... rather them than me!

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